*Down in Lovely Atlanta – the LA of the south – things were bangin’ off the hook on Wednesday evening, September 26, 2012 when music legends arrived on the Red Carpet at the W Hotel, 188 14th Street, NE, Atlanta, GA to attend ASCAP Rhythm & Soul and Hennessy Black 2nd annual Atlanta Legends Mixer saluting individuals who, through their work in music — either as artists or those more often behind-the-scenes — helped build, change and inspire the Atlanta music scene.

Hennessy Black served as presenting sponsor along with partner sponsors Peroni, Red Bull and Micorsoft.

michael mauldin

Michael Mauldin holds his distinguished ASCAP Legends Award

The electrifying event was attended by the brightest minds in music entertainment for a night of conversation and music saluting the 2012 Atlanta legendary honorees including Clifford “T.I.” Harris, Michael Mauldin, Kendall Minter, Noontime Music and Perri “Pebbles” Reid.  Actress/singer Demetria McKinney, the Teddy White Band and DJ Baby Yu were the featured entertainment for the evening.

The awards were presented by Hennessy’s Patrick Richards, key account manager, Hennessy V.S./Atlanta Market, and Jennifer Drake, director of Rhythm & Soul, ASCAP/Atlanta.

The stellar music evening was hosted by Jermaine Dupri and DeVyne Stephens and was attended by a who’s who of celebrities, including former Atlanta mayor Bill Campbell, DaBrat, Jazze Pha, Dondria, Christopher Hicks, Derek J, Johnta Austin, YMCMB singer Shanell, Atlanta city council members Kwanza Hall and Ceasar Mitchell and many more.

Tip “T.I.” Harris is a Grammy Award-winning rapper, film and music producer, actor, and author.  He is the founder and co-chief executive officer of Grand Hustle Records, and he launched his film company, Grand Hustle Films, in 2007.  T.I. knows the excitement, danger, and pain of which he writes.

Preceding the release of his eighth studio album Trouble Man, and just in time for the premiere of Season Two of his hugely successful VH1 series, “T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle,” Grammy-winning artist and actor T.I. pens a powerful follow-up to his street-lit epic Power & Beauty.  Adding to all this, T.I. can be seen alongside Kelsey Grammer on Starz’s hit political comedy, “BOSS.”  He and his wife, Tiny, are involved in charities and community outreach with children and those suffering with Alzheimer’s.

For 35 years, Michael Mauldin has been instrumental in the establishment, design and consistent development of the “Urban Lifestyle.”  Although the majority of his success has been in entertainment, Mauldin’s $3 billion influence has been felt across many industries.  Over the past 20 years, Mauldin is credited with discovering & developing the careers of some of the most prolific artists in music, including his own son, mega-producer & artist Jermaine Dupri, Destiny’s Child, Maxwell, The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys and many more.  Mauldin is currently CEO of the Artistic Control Group, president of Mauldin Brand Agency and chairman of both the Urban Speed Association and SCREAM Star Entertainment.

Featured in lists such as the Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in Entertainment, and Who’s Who Among Black Americans among others, Kendal Minter has played a key role not only in entertainment, but in history with clients that include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lena Horne, Roy Ayers, Musiq Soulchild, Hugh Masekela, The Government of Jamaica, The Backstreet Boys, Mtume, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond and numerous others.  Minter is a co-founder and inaugural executive director of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association and currently serves on its advisory board.  He also serves on the board of directors of Rhythm & Blues Foundation and is the chairman emeritus of the organization and is a member of the board of the Living Legends Foundation and a member of the board of directors of Sound Exchange, Inc.

Noontime Music pioneered the success of the Atlanta entertainment scene allowing upcoming talent to pursue their careers in a legendary area.  Established by partners Ryan Glover, Chris Hicks, and Henry “Noonie” Lee Jr. through the promotion of R&B and Hip-Hop concerts in Atlanta in 1997, the trio opened up a boutique recording studio and began signing producers, songwriters and artists.  Their roster includes renowned acts such as Bryan Michael Cox, Jazze Pha and Teddy Bishop as well as produced and/or written singles for Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Ginuwine, Aaliyah and more.

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Pebbles holding her prestigious ASCAP Legends Award is congratulated by her children Ashley and Aaron Reid (by L.A. Reid) (Photo Credit: Exclusive Access)

In the late 1980s, MCA Records introduced Perri “Pebbles” Reid to the music mainstream.  A series of chart-topping hits that include songs like “Girlfriend,” “Mercedes Boy,” “Always,” “Love Makes Things Happen” and a host of others yielded her sales totaling more than six million records worldwide, a Grammy nomination and a list of other songwriting and performance awards, firmly establishing Reid as a force to be reckoned with.  Under her production company Pebbitone, Perri would change history and discover the number one-selling female group to date, TLC.  Under Reid’s guidance, these Grammy-Award winning worldwide superstars gave the world hits like 1993’s debut album “Oooooooh… On the TLC Tip.”  The album gave TLC an astounding quintuple platinum status, landing three of the album’s songs in the top ten: “Baby, Baby, Baby,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and “What About Your Friends.”  They followed up in 1994 with “CrazySexyCool,” an unprecedented thirteen million in album sales and their first Grammy Award for Best R&B Album.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music.  ASCAP’s mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances.

ASCAP members write the world’s best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business – from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more.

The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly.  With 450,000 members representing more than 8.5 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.

Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.

audrey j bernard

Audrey J. Bernard